BIO AD Testifies Before the House Committee on Appropriations regarding Federal Investments in Neuroscience and Neurotechnology

On March 26, 2015, Dr. James Olds testified before the Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, United States House of Representatives, on Federal Investments in Neuroscience and Neurotechnology.

Testimony Overview

The human brain is arguably the most complicated biological entity we are aware of in the universe. With roughly 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion synaptic connections linking them together, the brain is responsible not only for controlling basic physiology, such as breathing, but also for higher-level functions such as learning, memory, emotions and cognition.

NSF’s goal is to enable scientific understanding of the full complexity of the brain in action and in context. In order to meet this goal, fundamental research is needed to explore and discover the general principles underlying how cognition and behavior relate to the brain’s structural organization and dynamic activities, how the brain interacts with its environment, and how the brain can recover from lost functionality.

To address these issues, NSF is supporting interdisciplinary teams to develop the needed tools and to integrate their respective scientific disciplines at a rate they have not done in the past. NSF is strategically targeting its resource investments to advance the basic research needed to understand how healthy brains work and how they achieve cognition. An improved understanding of the healthy human brain is essential for dealing with the increasing frequency of neurological disorders that affect the human population.

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The Science and Ethics of Genetically Engineered Human DNA (House Subcommittee Hearing)

On Jun 16, 2015, at 2:00pm the House Subcommittee on Research and Technology will hold a hearing on The Science and Ethics of Genetically Engineered Human DNA

Opening Statements
Subcommittee on Research and Technology Chairwoman Barbara Comstock

Dr. Victor J. Dzau, President, Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences
Dr. Jennifer Doudna, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Elizabeth McNally, Professor of Genetic Medicine, Professor in Medicine-Cardiology and Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics; Director, Center for Genetic Medicine, Northwestern University
Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy; Deputy Director for Policy and Administration, Berman Institute of Bioethics, Johns Hopkins University


NSF’s Public Access Plan

The National Science Foundation has developed a plan outlining a framework for activities to increase public access to scientific publications and digital scientific data resulting from research the foundation funds. The plan, entitled “Today’s Data, Tomorrow’s Discoveries,” is consistent with the objectives set forth in the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Feb. 22, 2013, memorandum, “Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research,” and with long-standing policies encouraging data sharing and communication of research results.

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Update 2/22/16

From The White House Blog (2/22/16): Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Science